all Tall Trees is the musical id of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Mike Savino, a pioneer in the realm ofexperimental, DIY banjo music. Accompanied by his trusty Banjotron 6500, a highly customized, electrified banjo and effects pedal setup, Savino has wowed audiences since the 2009 debut of his self-titled debut album with his eclectic and innovative blend of psychedelic folk, rock and world music. His work seems to actively evade comfortable definition, upon first listen one will recognize the tenderness of Cat Stevens, the melancholy introspection of Elliott Smith, the anthemic psychedelia of Pink Floyd, and a deep abiding respect for Earl Scruggs. Savino often performs solo, showcasing his fleet-tooted loop pedal mastery, as well as alongside long-time collaborator and fellow innovator, Kishi Bashi. Tall Tall Trees latest release, A Wave of Golden Things was released in 2020 on Joyful Noise Recordings.
A Wave of Golden Things, his fourth studio album, opens with the distant crow of a rooster and takes off in a dust cloud of swirling banjo, drums and bass. The lead off track, “The Wind, She Whispers,” quickly evolves from a droning mountain melody into full-blown banjo funk, setting the precedent for an album of unexpected turns. Though the banjo is heavily featured, the influence of Pink Floyd, and Cat Stevens can be felt as much as banjo mavericks Earl Scruggs, and Bela Fleck.
Savino, who self-records and produces his music, abandoned the heavily-layered textures of 2017’s Freedays for a more organic, stripped-down approach, leaving his distinct voice and thoughtful lyrics as the centerpiece. Despite the sparse arrangements, Savino still manages to evoke the sonic imagery and pastoral landscapes that have often been hallmarks of Tall Tall Trees albums. Each of the eight songs that make up A Wave of Golden Things suggest a world unto itself, from the cosmic country-tinged, “Ask Me Again,” to the sprawling underwater lullaby “Deep Feels.